Travelling to Japan can be an ordeal, particularly when coming from Europe. It wasn't that long ago, prior to 3G that one needed to rent a local mobile phone and beg the concierge for a weird adaptor to download emails on a painful internet connection. Hotels were geared to the local market- and all the better for it - but sometimes disorientating for a Western traveller. Clearly time moves on but the jet lag, environment and climate can still be a killer if you're in town for a couple of days with a 13 hour flight on each end. Happily the Ritz Carlton eases the pain enormously. Yes it's a very American hotel in many ways and yes it's probably a bit 90s in decor (The newer Mandarin Oriential beats it for style stakes) but still retains a very definite Japanese style and welcome. The service is fabulous - not just slick and efficient but very warm and friendly. The housekeeping staff can't do enough and take great pains to make you welcome, almost as if you're a guest in their home. Sounds crazy but true, they take a real pride in what they do. The rooms are large, beautifully appointed and the bathrooms are spacious and lack for nothing. The Asprey toiletries are a treat too! I stayed on a club floor so not sure how different this is but it was great. Wifi was not just free - everywhere in the hotel that I went (room, club lounge, lobby, restaurants) but very high speed. Great mobile phone signal - all the stuff that makes it easy to feel connected to home and settle in and work.
The restaurants are expensive - as other tipsters have commented and indeed the lobby lounge is to be avoided, a cup of tea was over £15 - but I must say the quality of the food (both the cooking and the ingredients) was, and I don't use the word lightly - stunning. The breakfast buffet is excellent, with chefs preparing egg dishes on demand to an amazing standard - with a view of the city through floor to ceiling windows that is simply breathtaking. And I guess you have to pay to get food that good shipped up 45 floors!
Interestingly, eating off room service was a surprisingly affordable (it's relative term in Tokyo!) option compared to the restaurants with great variety - I ordered a Thai Chicken Curry which was as good as any I've ever eaten anywhere in the world, and a perfect in-room supper.
A real highlight is the fitness centre - not just stuck away in some basement (take note Four Seasons Hotel New York, winner of my worst hotel gym in the world award) - a great swimming pool, on the 46th floor with fabulous views and flooded with natural light, and a superbly equipped gym, again with amazing views over the city and plenty of high - end Life Fitness equipment, the same as in my regular gym back home. Someone has clearly thought about how to build a proper spa and gym in this place.
All in all, a truly outstanding hotel - a great place to do business from and to come back to after a hot and jet lagged day out and about. Can't recommend highly enough.
Club floor, 52nd floor - great views, beautifully appointed.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.